Birdspotting in Singapore and around the world
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I know I’ve said Singapore but please feel free to add any exciting birds you spot.
(copied from my December post on my thread) ... I leave you with a picture of a crimson sunbird, which briefly regaled me with song but sadly flew off when someone else came into the room as I excitedly tried to show them the sunbird. We get heaps of olive backed sunbirds which like living close to people. We had one pair nesting below my hanging baskets outside the sitting room window once, and some that nested in our balcony, so we tiptoed around for a couple of weeks until the babies had safely flown the nest. But this is the first time I've seen the crimson sunbird; I hope he comes back often.
And while we were finishing our Christmas lunch, a baby monitor lizard walked along our border wall. (Although let's hope bird and lizard don't meet.)
(common in our garden. Often visits at breakfast time.)
ETA: olive backed (or yellow bellied) sunbird, Mr. & Mrs. The male is, of course, the more showy one.
Although I hasten to add that the photos are not mine. I only have a camera phone and by the time I could get that lined up, even assuming the bird would stay still for me to go and get my phone, the bird would be lost against the background.
Asian glossy starling and juvenile
Turns out, the joke's on me. This is an actual bird, a pink necked green pigeon, which lives in Singapore and visits my garden.
I've never seen one before; in fact, at first I thought it was a scrawny sparrow until I noticed it's beak.
It seems to be a changeable lizard (calotes versicolor).
From wildsingapore.com: 'It is native to continental Asia up to the northern Peninsular Malaysia. In Singapore, it has displaced the Green crested lizard (Bronchodela cristatella) a native lizard ...'
Once again, not my photo. We were driving past the park and he scuttled along the grass and up a tree (but on the other side from us). He was rather hard to miss.
This (if it was he) is a white-throated kingfisher. I wish I'd been able to see it properly.
ETA: I typed 'he' assuming a brightly coloured bird would be male but apparently it could equally well have been female (for all I saw of it). Females are similarly coloured but are paler on the belly.
I dashed off to get my phone to try and get a picture but when I returned they had disappeared. I'm hoping they're just roosting in some branches and will make a reappearance soon.
Maybe I should just go an sit under the eaves of the jungle and birdwatch sometime; but the corollary to birds is snakes, so ...
I suspect this guy, the Oriental Pied hornbill.
I’m guessing that they were the native long tailed parakeets although I read that they are being displaced by introduced species.
It amazes me to see the diversity of wildlife in this highly urbanised city-state. For the first ten years I lived here, I thought it was limited to geckos, Javan mynahs and the ubiquitous London pigeon.
And, for once, the photo is mine (or rather, my son's).
This is one from the Singapore Birds Project, showing both male and female and giving a better view of their colours. Apparently they're usually found in pairs but we just saw the one - my younger son was in the room and the photo is his.
ETA: the photo above is his. The photos below are from the project, which I grabbed from the web.
which is a Brahminy kite also known as a red-backed sea eagle or a garuda.
Speaking of seeing birds while driving, there were some egrets near the kids' school over the past couple of weeks and one decided to fly across my bonnet so I had to brake to avoid hitting it. I suspect the little egret - but it was rather hard to spot defining characteristics under the circumstances ;0)
But I wanted to post this bird:
The black-naped oriole, which is found throughout Asia.
Again, not my photo because it flew past my window but, for once, it was close enough to identify. I've been seeing these yellow birds flying in different parts of Singapore for a long time, but this was the first time I caught a glimpse of one close enough to see its markings. For the longest time, I thought they were weaver birds because they're the same colour as weaver birds I used to see in Africa.
ETA: However, there seem to be several candidates for which bird it could be. One is the rose-ringed parakeet which is native to India but feral populations (from escaped pet) exist around the world even in northern Europe in countries such as Germany.
Another possibility is the long-tailed parakeet, which is local, but seems to have a lot more colours than I spotted.
which is a cinnamon-headed green pigeon. I keep seeing birds with a reddish-brown body and brownish gray tail and wings flying in the jungle behind the houses across from us and sometimes landing on their hooves and aerials. They're too far away for me to see more than that so it's all guesswork. However, the cinnamon-headed green pigeon holds 'near threatened' status due to habitat loss, so I could be wrong.
(Again, not my picture.)
I've seen flocks (of green parakeet-shaped birds) flying in the distance at around sundown where my kids play football, which is close to the central catchment area - the centre of Singapore which is kept as secondary jungle to attract rain for the reservoirs.
blue throated bee eater; blue tailed bee eater
(again, not my photos)
More on sunbirds; this time I have an olive-backed sunbird nest right outside my study:
This time, it is my photo. The doors on the right are my bookshelves and the photo is through one of the balcony doors. My son and I were away on holiday for about a month but the balcony doors were opened and shut every day, to let fresh air in, but sunbirds like to build close to humans. They were fluttering around when I came back (so I was wary about using the study too much in case I upset them) and I was disappointed when they seemed to have disappeared a week or two ago. But when I researched it last night I discovered that after a mating pair builds a nest they do leave it for a week or so before returning to lay eggs. This morning I noticed a sunbird busy about the nest (I tried not to be too obvious about looking) so fingers crossed, they return.
So the tractor would dig up weeds from the bottom of the reservoir and take it back to a floating pallet to dump. The bird would sit on the basket and then hop in to look for breakfast once the weeds came above the surface, ride back to the 'island' and hop off when the tractor dumped the weeds. Then, when it went back out, the bird would fly back to its post on the basket, for its next course.
Photo from National Parks Singapore
Photo from Singapore Birds Project
ETA: Hmm; although wild toucans were last spotted in Singapore in 2009, they are native to South America. Oriental pied hornbills, however, are native to Singapore. They became locally extinct about 50 years ago but have been making a comeback, helped by nesting boxes. So I probably spotted hornbills.
Photo of hornbill from NParks
Photo of hornbills from eBird
and the other was a kingfisher with a lot of blue and orange, so either a common
or a stork-billed
Probably the former, but it was sitting up in a tree on the other side of the canal, laughing at me, so I couldn’t get closer to be more definite.
Ooh - and a white-breasted waterhen; but they're always around since they like to hide in the undergrowth near the canal.
photos are not mine
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